Friday, June 19, 2009


Unfortunately Italy fails to solve its financial crisis

by Larry Geller

The financial crisis affects people worldwide. Who could be faulted for hoping for a miracle to relieve their worries? And where better for a miracle than Italy?

Danny Schechter cites a news report that could have saved Italy’s financial butt:

Milan (AsiaNews) – Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.

He explains why this would be good for Italy:

The cute part of this is that if the certificates are real Italy just got a hell of a bonanza - their money laundering laws provide for a statutory 40% penalty for failure to declare instruments and cash in excess of $10,000 Euros, which means they’d garner a close-to-$40 billion dollar windfall.

And why not Italy, and why not now?

In the last two years, Italian authorities have seized some $800 million of U.S. bonds in the Como area in northern Italy [Reuters, 6/19/2009]

Unfortunately for Italy, the bonds are fake (see Reuters article). The US Treasury noted that there is only $105 million in Treasury bearer bond securities outstanding altogether. The confiscated bonds appear to be photoshopped.

Well, now that the story is out, more photoshoppers may be tempted to try their hands at counterfeiting. What better way, as the Reuters article hints, for North Korea to finance its nuclear weapons program and evade US sanctions?

Oh, well. Sorry about that, Italy. Now it’s back to the, um, drawing board.


Come On, who in their right minds thinks they can pass off fake $500 million denominated bearer bonds? Who to?

What about the documents found with them?

Think about it!

The two 'Japanese' are allowed to walk away.

Who is kidding who?

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